Chelsea will have to offer £50m
Fernando Torres will only leave Anfield for the £50 million buy-out fee contained in his contract, according to well placed ESPNsoccernet sources.
Ancelotti quiet on Torres
Chelsea's latest offer of £35 million plus the £5 million-rated Daniel Sturridge falls £10 million short of the trigger price and will not be accepted.
The £50 million buy-out clause can only be triggered at the end of the current season, and was put in place as a comprise to keep Torres at Anfield with a promise that the club would be purchasing top players to ensure a return to the Champions League.
After a poor first half of the season, Liverpool already look to have little prospect of qualifying for the Champions league, leading Torres to feel that the club should honour their agreement to let him go, albeit ahead of schedule.
Liverpool have dug their heels in and on Friday night turned down Torres' transfer request. However, an offer of £50 million may prove too good to turn down when the other option is to keep an unhappy player at the club.
A source told ESPNsoccernet: "I don't see it happening, I do not believe Roman Abramovich will authorise £50 million for Torres, or indeed, for any player.
"The player has a get-out clause of £50 million, and it might be that the club would consider selling in January, but only if £50 million was offered.
Lampard would welcome Torres
"Chelsea started off by bidding £28 million, and would go to £35 million plus a player, but Liverpool have said no, and Chelsea are aware that they mean it.
"However, they have a player who has asked for a transfer and they are in a difficult position, knowing that Torres could well go in the summer in any case, but again it might have to be for the full amount of £50 million."
Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard, speaking to ESPN prior to his side's 1-1 draw with Everton in the FA Cup, said that Torres would be a very welcome addition to the squad at Stamford Bridge.
"Players of a top, top level and world class players will always help your squad," Lampard said. "It remains to be seen what happens with the club, who they bring in and who the manager wants to bring in, but he will always be very welcome from us."